How to Become a Surgical Tech in Texas

How to Become a Surgical Tech in Texas

The surgical room in Texas is staffed with a team of professionals ready to respond fast in the face of emergencies.

This group of professionals comprises of:

  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesia specialist
  • Surgical nurse
  • Surgical technicians

They start collaborating before the operation begins and end after the surgery concludes.

Surgical techs are also known by alternative titles such as operation room (OR) techs and scrub techs.

Job Description and Duties of Surgical Technologists

Surgical technologists play a crucial role in various tasks during their work shifts, including:

  • Preparing patients for surgery
  • Transporting patients to and from the OR
  • Preparing the OR with surgical equipment and supplies
  • Monitoring the instrument count throughout surgery
  • Handing the surgeon medical instruments
  • Closing wounds and bandaging patients

While this list is not exhaustive, it encompasses the diverse responsibilities of these medical professionals.

Surgical Technologist Training and Education in Texas

Surgical techs operate under the jurisdiction of their employers rather than any specific institution.

Although the process isn’t straightforward, the journey to becoming a surgical tech in Texas begins with high school graduation or obtaining a GED.

The subsequent step involves enrolling in a training program tailored for this occupation, emphasizing both education and clinical training.

Several institutions offer such training across Texas, each with slightly different enrollment requirements.

They commonly offer classes in:

  • Microbiology,
  • Pathophysiology,
  • Pharmacology,
  • Anatomy,
  • Physiology,
  • Medical terminology

Some institutions also include CPR and/or BLS and/or AED training.

Here are some examples of institutions in Texas offering surgical technologist programs.

Bevill State Community College

The program covers topics such as sterile processing, infection control, sterilization, instrumentation identification, and safety.

Prerequisites for enrollment include:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Pass the Accuplacer placement exam
  • Having previous medical-related experience, if possible
  • Have health insurance
  • Complete their military service
    • This is not mandatory but it will be taken into consideration

Clinical requirements involve completing at least 120 cases, with a minimum of 30 in General Surgery and 20 in the first scrub role.

Additional criteria for admission include achieving a minimum composite score on the ACT or meeting specific scores on the Accuplacer or ENG 101.

Calhoun Community College

The training program has a duration of around 2 years or 4 semesters, including classroom, lab, and clinical instruction.

To be accepted into the program, applicants must apply online, attend a program information session, complete a Manual Dexterity Exam, and meet all college admission requirements.

Austin Community College

Austin Community College provides two options for those interested in surgical technology:

  • A certificate program
  • An Associate in Science (AS) degree program.

The AS degree comprises 60 credit hours, encompassing both classroom instruction and clinical work.

Prerequisites, integrated into the total credit hours, include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2,
  • Mathematics
  • Essentials of Medical Terminology
  • Microbiology,
  • Pharmacology

The certificate program, with 51 credit hours, shares the same prerequisites as the AS degree.

Both programs typically require around two years to complete.

Admission criteria for both programs include a physical exam, current immunizations, active health insurance, and successful completion of a background check and drug test.

Baptist School of Health Professions

The school offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Surgical Technology, a two-year program.

Prerequisite courses involve three credit hours of any college-level English course.

Graduates from this program boast a current 100 percent pass rate in the national certification exam.

Admission requirements include:

  • A physical exam,
  • Proof of current immunizations,
  • Successful drug test and background check
  • Evidence of health insurance and CPR certification

The College of Healthcare Professions

With campuses in Houston Northwest and San Antonio, provides an (AAS) degree in surgical technology.

This program combines classroom instruction with a clinical externship, spanning 80 weeks (approximately two years) and comprising 91.5 credit hours.

Graduates from this program exhibit a commendable 90 percent pass rate in the national certification exam.

School Name Address
Austin Community College Building 8000, Room 8356 3401 Webberville Road Austin, TX 78702
Baptist School of Health Professions 8400 Datapoint Dr, San Antonio, TX 78229
Calhoun Community College online
Bevill State Community College online
The College of Healthcare Professions 1917 W Nolana Ave, Unit 100, McAllen, TX 78504

Certification for Surgical Technologists in Texas

While certification is not legally required, employers often prefer certified individuals.

These are the certifications you can obtain:

  • National Surgical Assistant Association (NSAA)
    • Provides the Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA) qualification
  • National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA)
    • Provides the Certified Surgical Technologist/Certified First Assistant credential
  • National Center for Competency Training (NCCT)
    • Provides the Tech in Surgery Certification

The NBSTSA certification is nationally recognized.

The certification exam consists of 200 questions, with a minimum of 119 correct answers required to pass.

Exam fees vary, and certification renewal every 4 years can be achieved by either retaking the exam or completing continuing education credits.

Surgical Technologist Salary in Texas

In Texas, an OR tech can earn an annual salary of about $50,600.

Variations in salaries among cities within the state are detailed in the following table.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Thompsons $52,000
Altair $51,900
Willis $51,900
Trinity $51,900
Addison $51,100
Dallas $51,099
Tioga $50,700
Anahuac $50,700
Westminster $50,700
Argyle $50,300

Regional Salary in Texas

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Amarillo, TX130$48,970$23.54$62,150$39,640
Austin-Round Rock, TX620$57,600$27.69$76,310$38,180
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX110$51,140$24.59$59,540$41,250
College Station-Bryan, TX130$49,510$23.81$63,540$29,390
Corpus Christi, TX160$50,250$24.16$62,680$29,030
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX2,390$57,710$27.75$76,760$37,480
El Paso, TX240$48,700$23.41$62,830$36,130
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX2,230$57,140$27.47$74,880$37,450
Killeen-Temple, TX180$51,880$24.94$69,420$34,600
Longview, TX110$49,400$23.75$65,800$34,980
Lubbock, TX170$49,750$23.92$64,920$32,790
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX190$51,700$24.86$62,180$38,820
Midland, TX50$52,890$25.43$71,410$32,200
Odessa, TX40$60,660$29.16$76,620$48,830
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX1,110$46,820$22.51$61,540$35,620
Sherman-Denison, TX50$57,440$27.61$64,940$39,890
Tyler, TX150$48,670$23.4$61,320$34,250
Victoria, TX50$57,730$27.75$62,550$49,570
Waco, TX90$53,260$25.61$61,920$38,670
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Surgical Technologists, OCC Code 29-2055, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Sills Do I Need To Work As A Surgical Tech in Texas?

Here are the most important skills this profession requires:

  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Detail-oriented
  • Take direction
  • Understanding medical terms
  • Understanding medical methodology
  • Good communication skills

Where Do Surgical Technologists from Texas Find Work?

These technologists usually work in a hospital’s surgery wing.

Furthermore, these other places also hire such specialists:

  • Children’s hospitals
  • Cosmetic surgery centers
  • Specialty clinics for surgical procedures

Can a Surgical Tech From Texas Choose a Specialty?


Just like surgeons can choose to operate on a specific body part, so can these techs.

Here are the most commonly chosen surgery niches:

  • General surgery,
  • Ob/gyn,
  • Urology,
  • Plastics,
  • Neurology

USA Surgical Tech Programs by State

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